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The Times 

Character attacks on FB are disheartening and dangerous

 

September 22, 2022



To the Editor,

There has been a recent uproar about which books should be available to children in our public library. The people who have voiced their concerns have stated repeatedly that their concerns are not political, homophobic, transphobic, or anti-sex. Many have stated, on social media and in letters to the editor, that their concern is merely for the safety of the children, and the protection of their innocence. Some have said they are not asking for books to be banned, just removed from the children’s section. It’s true that the books in question could be moved to higher shelves, or another area in the library. It would be easy enough - and absolutely appropriate - to contact the library director and request that the books be moved. Perhaps some have done this. Unfortunately, what many have done instead is call for our library director’s resignation and labeled anyone who defends these books (including the library director, board, and staff) pedophiles and sexual groomers. The most graphic pages of the books in question are being photographed and shared to social media by the people who are most offended by the content. Do they not realize that by doing this, they are making those pages even more accessible to kids? Parents, make sure you are logged off of Facebook while the kids are at home or they might unwittingly learn something you explicitly said you don’t want them to learn!

One of the most disturbing aspects of this campaign against the library director, staff, and board, is that much of the malicious slander directed at them is being circulated on a Facebook page called Dayton WA Uncensored, of which our elected Port Commissioner, Seth Bryan, is an admin. Mr. Bryan himself has participated in maligning the library staff. This pattern of demonizing individuals with whom they disagree, is becoming commonplace with a certain group of citizens - Mr. Bryan’s Facebook page has been center stage for much of it, as he perpetuates personal attacks on the citizens he has been elected to serve. Regardless of how you feel about the placement of books in our library, there is absolutely no excuse for this defamation of character. I am extremely disheartened by this behavior, especially from an elected official in our community.

Shellie McLeod

Dayton, Wash.

 

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